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CCOG for RUS 241 Winter 2024

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Course Number:
RUS 241
Course Title:
Great Russian Writers-19th Century
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Introduces Russian literature's great writers of the 19th-century including, but not limited to Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Chekhov. Explores themes, genres, style, historical context, and social and cultural issues. Conducted in English and all readings in English. Prerequisites: (WR 115 and RD 115) or IRW 115 or equivalent placement. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Use knowledge of Russian cultural concepts and historical events to interpret Russian literary texts and their meaning for the time period of 1825-1900 present.
  2. Identify connections between Russian literary texts written during different Russian historical and political times from 1825 through 1900.
  3. Discuss and write about literature including, but not limited to, romanticism, realism, frame narrative, skaz narration, satire, and ostranenie using literary conventions and critical vocabulary.
  4. Reflect on personal work or competencies to make connections between Russian literature and culture and lived experience.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

General Education Philosophy Statement for RUS 241-Great Russian Writers-19th Century This course requires students to engage in critical thinking and reasoning through discussing and analyzing literary texts, making connections between those texts, and writing short analytical essays. Students recognize and use critical literature vocabulary in order to more clearly discuss and analyze texts. By exploring relevant 19th century Russian history, culture, customs and values embedded in the literary texts, students gain a richer understanding of the texts and also a better understanding of their own culture and how it relates to other cultures. Whenever possible connections are made to current social, cultural and political issues happening in Russia today, so that students will see the relevancy of what they are learning. Such analytical skills aid students to become more thoughtful global citizens.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

The following tools may be used to assess students' progress in the course:

1.          Large group discussions

2.          Small group discussions

3.          Response journals

4.         Short analytical essays

5.          Longer analytical essays

6.          Self-reflection essays

7.          Oral presentations

8.          Quizzes

9.          Written or oral exams

10.         Creative project

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


1.          Literary genres

2.         Literary themes

3.          Literary conventions and allusions

4.          Literary vocabulary

5.          Narrative devices

6.          Analysis and synthesis

7.          Contextualization

8.          Critical reading and thinking

9.          Essay and response writing

10.          Close reading and explication

11.          Cultural and historical influences

12.          Development of early 19th century literature

13.         Romanticism in Russian literature and painting

14.          Peter the Great and the founding of St. Petersburg

15.          Myth of St. Petersburg and its depictions in Russian literature

16.          Peter the Great’s Table of Ranks and role of social rank in tsarist society

17.         The role of the writer in Russian culture

18.          Gambling in Russian literature

19.          Russian superstitions

20.          Russian cultural beliefs about fate and suffering

21.          Oppression of Jews and other ethnic minorities in tsarist Russia

22.          Oppression of Russian serfs as a social class

23.          Effects of 1861 emancipation of serfs on Russian society

24.          Russian culture and society in mid-late 19th century

25.          Urban growth and poverty in mid 19th century

26.         Development of mid to late 19th century literature

27.          Realism in Russian literature and painting

28.          Russian funeral and death traditions

29.          Russian culture and society in mid-late 19th century

30.          Civil unrest at end of 19th century

31.     Russian cultural beliefs about the tsar, fate, suffering, mental illness, the devil, and death.


1.          Analysis

2.          Synthesis

3.          Understanding literary texts through contexts such as society, politics, artistic conventions,          multiple interpretations of an author, etc.

4.          Writing about literature using supporting evidence from texts

5.          Close readings

6.          Speaking and listening reflectively

7.          Small-group collaboration

8.         Self-reflection on progress and competencies